Dear Friends and Family,

This week has gone by so fast for me! It seems like yesterday I was saying goodbye to In-n-Out, and TV. Today was different than most days, for the reason it was a fun day. As a group we went on a trip in the Gua-Gua or bus to a beach. This beach was different from most California beaches. For one, there wasn’t a lot of sand. The whole beach was filled with rocks while the only sand at the very edge between land and sea. The weather was perfect, cloudy with lots of heat. A lot of the time when Glimpsers look out of the window in the Gua-Gua, we assume that it is going to be cold, due to the cloudiness outside of the vehicle, and the fact that the Gua-Gua has A/C (Thank the Lord!!!).

Today was different also because there was no Question of the Day, as we normally do. Instead I surprised the group with a question during our nightly meeting. The question was, what are some activities that residents of the Dominican Republic Do on their free days? The part that I liked about this question was that the group couldn’t fully answer the question just from one day, they had to look and use what they have seen these past seven days. As a group we decided that the residents don’t stay at home and have “me time”. The people all go out, either with their families or with their friends. There were many people and families at the beach today. Also yesterday we went to a baseball game and saw almost 50 children wanting the chance to play on the field. I believe that the Dominican culture has the people go out and not be lazy due to the fact that destruction of a persons home can happen at any moment. Many people don’t realize that the DR is actually an island. Floods can happen at anytime, and a whole family could loose their house in seconds. In my personal opinion I like the style that the Dominicans live, they enjoy their life knowing that it can be taken away very fast.

Today was really fun! At the beach we played some baseball, and frisbee. We went into the water which felt so good. The water was cool, and refreshing! Don’t worry parents, we had a lifeguard in our designated area, and we were not allowed to go into the water past our thighs. Our leaders are taking really good care of us. One of the highlights was playing a huge game of Marco Polo with the whole group. Not to mention getting a HUGE log into the water to float on. That was a fun, but different experience. We had most of the Glimpsers on the log, and having our “Momma” Max (Health Coach Leader) push it. We had a very tasty picnic on the beach. The food in the DR is really good by the way! For me the most rewarding part of the day at the beach was giving our extra food to a family that lived on the beach. Just by looking at the family you could tell that they were hungry and struggling to survive. When Victoria, one of our leaders, and I walked up to the hut where the family live, I felt a pit in my stomach seeing the way a family with three small children live. I was ecstatic when we gave the family the food! After we went back to the Hostel for free time and then left for dinner. Today was a fun day, and we are a third of the trip done. Time flies when you are having fun!!!

Hope all is well at home for all the families! I know my mom is going crazy right now, and if I didn’t mention I was okay she would kill me, so Mom I am good, everyone is good, tell everyone that I miss them and hope they are enjoying life just as I am right now!

Best regards,

Michael ‘Bublè’ Alaraj

P.S. Here is a video from this trip, enjoy it!